David Shepherd was head of operations at the RNLI HQ when he filed a false invoice for £4,773.60


An RNLI manager is facing the prospect of jail for defrauding the charity out of almost £5,000.

David Shepherd, an ex-Royal Navy officer, was head of operations at the RNLI’s headquarters in Poole, Dorset, when he committed the fraud in December last year.

The 54-year-old filed a false invoice for £4,773.60, but offered no explanation as to why he did it or what it was spent on when he appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court. Robert Pawson, defending, told the court.

Shepherd had served 22 years in the Royal Navy as a Submariner Lieutenant Commander. He said: “He cannot explain why he did what he did, but he accepts it.”

Shepherd, who pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud, was appointed head of staff officer training at the RNLI in September 2006.

Before that he was responsible for the delivery of operational training to volunteer crews for 42 different lifeboat stations from North Norfolk to the Isle of Wight for nine years.

He was made head of operations in September last year.

From 1977 to 1997, he was a Royal Navy Submariner, serving in most classes of submarine as a warfare officer. In 1995, Shepherd completed the Submarine Commanding Officers Qualifying Course, which is known by its colloquial name “perisher”.

He will be sentenced on November 28 and Judge John Harrow warned Shepherd that all sentencing options are open to him.

Judge Harrow said: “This is a very serious breach of trust as you know, and it could carry a prison sentence.

“I am not saying it will, as nobody has yet decided. It is important that the court has all the information about you before sentencing.”


Picture: The RNLI headquarters